Drinking water

How Much Water Should You Actually Be Drinking?

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December 7th 2020
How Much Water Should You Actually Be Drinking? 1 Veronika Mikec is a full-time student, writer, and future revolutionary.

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It’s not just in the summer you should be drinking water, you know. Winter is coming up, and without enough H2O in your body during the colder months, you’ll have trouble staying hydrated. Especially if you’re like me, and prefer to lounge around your house instead of hitting the gym.

But how much should we drink, really? Is there a definite number? Or is it an estimate (a guesstimate, if you will) in the form of glasses? Taking into consideration how everyone’s body is unique due to common biological differences, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact amount suitable for the average person. And numerous studies have tried doing just that, without ever coming up with the same exact results. 

You may think this is a pretty ridiculous question to think about. Just drink some when you’re thirsty, silly! I hear you mocking me, don’t you worry. But there’s way more to water than just drinking it for thirst, or mixing it with your favourite home-made syrup. And I’m going to tell you all about it.

Benefits of Drinking Water

You probably learned this when you were ten years old, but no harm in reminding you that our bodies are made of approximately 60 percent water—meaning you literally need it to survive. You’re probably also aware of the fact that the human body lasts three to four days without it, while it can carry on for about three weeks with us not eating anything. Might want to put down that sandwich and grab a drink, eh?

But in all seriousness, you do need water to survive. Not only survive, but to thrive. It offers countless benefits, including cleansing your body of harmful toxins, helps you with bowel movement and urination, and, most importantly, prevents dehydration. (Side note—I was once hospitalised as a child because I refused to drink anything. I remember almost nothing from those three months I had to stay in that hospital bed, and I’m pretty sure it’s because my body was running on literal fumes to try and keep me alive.)

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The Universal Guesstimate

What’s the magical number then? And what are the measurements? I’ll let you in on a little secret: no one actually knows. Of course, you need to keep a bottle with you at all times, because you have to have at least a sip every day. (I’m kidding, it’s way more than just a sip.) You need to replace every drop you’ve lost during the day through breathing, urinating, sweating, and other natural bodily functions. Yes, I know—you still want a number. So, I’ll give it to you.

Men should drink at least 3.7 litres (approx. 125 ounces) of fluid a day, while the female population is normally replenished with 2.7 litres (approx. 91 ounces) per day. Do keep in mind, however, that you can reach this amount by drinking other beverages or eating foods high in liquids (such as watermelon, for example).

Now that we finally got the numbers out of the way, let’s continue. 

Factors to Consider

I told you there’s more to this madness! The estimation above does hold true for most people, but as I’ve mentioned before, our bodies differ, and so do our lifestyles. This means we have to consider numerous factors when calculating the amount of fluid we should be drinking during the day.

The most obvious reason to drink more on the daily is if you regularly exercise, or perhaps work a job where the majority of the work is physical. When we sweat, we lose a significant amount of fluid, which we need to replace every chance we get. If you’re someone who spends most of their days in the gym, you most likely already know that you should be drinking enough water before, during, and after a workout. You can also opt for various sports drinks if you feel the need.

A bigger liquid intake is also necessary if you either live in or are travelling to a place with hot, humid weather, are pregnant or breastfeeding, and in case your overall health is not at its peak (meaning you should replace the fluids you’re losing through fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and other medical conditions).

To sum up, there’s no universal answer to how much water you should be drinking daily. There are some vague estimates, but at the end of the day, it really does depend on the individual and their personal lifestyle choices. Your safest option is to ask your doctor about the appropriate amount of fluids you should be consuming, and follow his or her advice.

Are you someone who drinks water religiously? Or do you tend to get most of your daily fluid intake through watery fruits and other foods? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

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